The End of the Duopoly is Near

I have been away from technology sporadically, intentionally, to clear my head from all of the political chaos. It has helped to focus my attention on a message that I believe— no, I know — is most vital to anyone involved in the electoral process. It has afforded me the opportunity to formulate how to address this issue in the truest way possible. I am forever grateful for the disconnect from the world for a period of time.

I love the law, I am forever aligned with our Constitution. I believe in the concept of a liberal democracy. That democracy holds no alliance with the Right Wing, the Left Wing, or the Center. We have laws that are created by us, for us, to protect our people and those that wish to grace our shores. Sometimes though, we must ask ourselves, “Do these laws still remain because of necessity, or is it a relic of a bygone era?”

As I gain traction in the political realm, I wish to establish two things. One of those is my absolute loyalty to our most cherished First Amendment. I believe in the exercise of Free Speech and the laws that govern it. I see the First Amendment as the first and last barrier between peaceful governance and needless anarchy. It is not the Second, nor any other Amendment, that keeps the rule of law as absolute without bloodshed. I believe in the absolute need for the right to Petition and Protest. We must peacefully yet, forcibly, call our elective representation to account for things that may not be the will of the People.

I, as an atheist, believe in the right of people to practice their religion, without fear of persecution. I agree with Jefferson’s statement on the separation of Church and State. As long as religion does not guide our principles and our policies, then the right to practice one’s religion shall never be infringed.

I believe in the absolute and unquestioned opposition to the Two-Party System in this country. Various studies and polls have been commissioned to see the number of people who do not exercise their solemn duty to practice their right to vote. Those of us who do not miss an opportunity to vote like to cast aspersions upon those that do not vote. There are complaints of “laziness” or “incompetence” in keeping our right to vote sacrosanct. Little do those who make such slanderous assertions know that it isn’t negligence by the People that cause close to half of the population to not vote, it’s the complete failure of the system that exists.

We cannot be governed by just two ideologies. This country is a cornucopia of ideas, thoughts, and beliefs. To try to reign that in under the banner of Democrat or Republican is a fool’s errand. We cannot just pass off a lack of participation as “laziness” or a “youth” thing. It’s a direct response to the failures of both major parties to actually represent the People. Both parties are indebted to the uber-wealthy and to the elites of this nation.

It’s frustrating to write, to take part in activism, or to run for office as an actual candidate of the People — and by that, I mean as a candidate running on a Progressive/Left platform. The odd thing is, in districts across the nation, progressives are winning. This is a third way that flies in the face of the Republican/Democrat paradigm, and both parties are losing their minds over it.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat former number four member of the House Democratic Leadership Joe Crowley. Ben Jealous is running a strong campaign to become governor of Maryland. (Let me be transparent: I’ve spoken with Mr. Jealous on several occasions and he has always been a friend to me and easily accessible to all.) Candidates across the nation are running on Progressive, not Democratic, ideas and winning big.

Anti-PAC money, anti-corporate influence, social justice reform, criminal justice reform, immigration reform, education reform, holding Wall Street accountable, and ending corruption are but a few of the ideas sweeping the nation and winning over voters of all stripes. The Democratic and Republican Parties have failed the nation for too long. Yet, these two parties would have you believe that if you vote for them THIS TIME around, everything will change.

Democrats are especially worried. They sound like a former lover that you gave your heart to and they broke it. You may love them, but they hurt you beyond comprehension and now that they know that you don’t need them anymore, they become hostile. “Punching Left” isn’t a quirky saying, it’s what centrist, corporate Democrats use against the hard-working and passionate actual left. It just further hastens the decline of the once proud party.

The GOP, on the other hand, are coming in for a landing on what has been worked on since Goldwater: fascism. This is just something that cannot be allowed to proliferate. The same “Constitutionalists” that were attacking the Left for an array of issues are now kneeling at the altar of Trump. If we are to help the People, get more voters to the booths, and keep this liberal democracy vibrant, we must offer more than a binary system.

We need to address the multitudes who do not have a voice. Nearly 56% of Americans who could vote in the 2016 Presidential Election, voted. One, that’s pitiful, nothing more than that. Two, that means that 44%, at the very least, had no one that represented them. Even among those that voted, there was a general “lesser of two evils” mentality that guided their choices, not necessarily a passionate love of either candidate or Party. That stacks up to the people in this nation that identify with either the Democrats (30%) or the GOP (26%), according to July 2018 Gallup poll. How can we call ourselves a “liberal democracy” if the majority of Americans are never heard?

We need to strike down the need for a 15% showing by political parties to be able to participate in televised Presidential debates for starters by the Commission on Presidential Debates. This sounds super simple, but ask anyone who worked on the Bernie Sanders campaign, myself included, how easy it was to get press for the Senator’s ideas or policies — and he was running as a Democrat. Try picturing any Third Party mounting a campaign. Third Party campaigns even led to a stagnation in choices among third-party candidates. For example, at the turn of the century, Harry Browne was the Libertarian candidate for POTUS from 1996 and 2000, and the party then disappeared off of Politico types’ radar until the Paul epidemic swept the nation in 2010-2012. Ralph Nader gave the Green Party clout in 2000 and is falsely accused of costing Al Gore the Presidency because Greens “swiped” votes from Democrats in major states like Florida. Now, that isn’t remotely near the truth, but the Greens haven’t been a blip on the national stage since then. It’s time to end the 5% threshold to offer real choices to every American, not the illusion of choice with the duopoly.

The duopoly is struggling mightily, but they have the “Mainstream Media” (MSM) battling alongside them in keeping real choice out and the status quo in. Pay attention to CNN, MSNBC, and Politico and the recent elections of August 7. All these outlets will tell you that the “Sanders”-led (which should read “People”-led) progressive movement faltered massively. What they don’t tell you is that these candidates that lost were no-names before the power of our movement brought many of them within a couple of thousand votes of victory against the establishment types who outspent many of them. You cannot trust someone to tell you the truth; you have to look for yourself and once you have, you’ll come away baffled at what people call journalism.

We need to be at the vanguard of this Revolution. We need to force the MSM and FEC to acknowledge multiple parties, not just the duopoly. The biggest complaint from these two will be that too many parties mean too many choices and that is too taxing on the People. That would be true if I didn’t have the capacity to, I don’t know, think? This tired trope is constantly rolled out when third parties file lawsuits demanding access or contest unfair coverage of the duopoly.

We cannot allow this practice to continue. If we want change and an end to the duopoly, we are going to have to stand and fight. We cannot trust one person or one group to champion us. All we have is ourselves in this fight against the oligarchy, their puppets, the duopoly, and the microphone, the MSM. Together, getting our collective voices out there and saturating the Internet will force their hands and make them listen. Take Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for example. No one but dedicated Progressive/Left types initially paid any attention to this remarkable campaign. Yet, because of passion and a monumental amount of work, her campaign beat out the number four ranked Democrat in the House of Representatives, Joe Crowley. This further forces the MSM to acknowledge our existence. They attack it, but at least our ideas are starting to break through. The craziest part? Progressive/Left policies are more mainstream than the “mainstream” duopoly.

We have to be vigilant, we have to be aware that this is a monumental task and we cannot hope for “quick” victories. We are destroying the status quo and we must expect “resistance” to this. But with persistence and grit, our message will be the one heard and supported in 2018, 2020, 2022, 2024, and beyond. But it’s going to take work. I’ve been at this for a while, you’ve been at this for a while. Let’s get some more people involved to ensure our work wasn’t in vain.

Written by Jason Carney

Born in Massachusetts in 1981, grew up an Army Brat and travelled the world with my father who served as a member of the Special Forces for 24 years. Mother was a strong and dedicated woman with a work ethic second to none. I decided to enlist in the Army National Guard in October 2009, having heard that they deployed more frequently. I have served honorably since then and was accepted into the Army Officer Candidate School before a workplace injury rendered me temporarily disabled.

Grew up studying politics, political figures, discourse, and ideologies of the world as I found politics to be a contact sport for the most hardened of individuals. Started Vets for the 99% in late 2015 to show that Progressive/Left ideology could not only be embraced by every segment of society, but could further the nation as a whole.

Follow Jason on Twitter @TheJasonCarney.

Jason is a Guest Contributor to Progressive Army.

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